Applying basic accessibility components and materials in an online course is an important practice to ensure all learners are able to navigate information within the course. This document will provide some general practices for creating accessible online content on the CN platform.
Accessibility Basics for CN Elements
Using built-in headings within the Rich Text Editor is important for accessibility. First, it provides clear sections to chunk information for learners. Additionally, for anyone navigating the course using a screen reader or other assistive technology to navigate a page, headings allow them to navigate to specific sections. Always start with the lowest heading number (ex: Heading 1) and increase the heading number for subsections.
When creating a title in CN using the Rich Text Editor, highlight text and then apply built-in headings from the “Paragraph” dropdown.
Sharing Links & Descriptive Links
When providing a link to an online resource, it’s important to provide a descriptive link. This means that instead of sharing the link address, you will provide the name or a description of the resource.
To create a descriptive link in the Rich Text Editor in CN, highlight the text, then select “Insert/edit link” from the toolbar. In the pop-up window, enter the URL and the “Title” field. The Title should describe the destination or the purpose of the link.
In CN, links open in a new browser window by default. This is a good practice because users will not lose their current page. You may glance at the “Target” field to make sure “New window” is indeed selected.
Image Alt Text
Images may be used in a course in different ways. An image may be strictly decorative, or it may carry meaning. It is important to determine the nature of an image first. If an image carries meaning, you will need to include a text description for the image unless the proposed text description would repeat neighboring text. In general, the image text description should be concise, e.g. no more than 10-15 words. For additional information on how to write alt text, visit Perkins School for the Blind eLearning
When creating a list, for accessibility purposes, you will need to use the built-in lists within the Rich Text Editor. If the items that you are including in the list do not need to be completed in sequential order, you should choose the bullet list and if the items do need to be completed in sequential order, you should choose the numbered list.
To create a list using the Rich Text Editor on CN, highlight the text, then apply the numbered list or bullet list from the toolbar to form your list. Please see the screenshot below.
Color Contrast and Color Coding
When changing the color of the text, it is important to check to make sure the contrast is sufficient. This means that the text color should not be too light against the background color.
- Check that any text smaller than 18 pts has a minimum color-contrast ratio of 4.5:1
- Verify that any text larger than 18 pts has a ratio of 3:1
- Confirm any information conveyed through the use of color is also communicated via other accessible means, such as brief explanation text in parathesis.
This is a color contrast checker tool for your reference. In most cases, you probably don’t need to check color contrast. You just need to keep in mind of using high-contrast colors.
In the Rich Text Editor on CN, when changing text colors, you highlight the text, then use the text color tool from the toolbar to pick a color. Click “Custom” to access more color options and check a color’s hex (#) code.
Captions & Transcripts
Videos shared in your course should have captions included. Additionally, it can be helpful to provide a downloadable transcript to accompany the video.
In CN, if you embed a video from YouTube or other sources, which already have captions or support auto captions, learners can turn on closed captions when needed.
If you will create/upload your own video, you can provide the transcript as a file. To do so, select the file tool from the toolbar of the CN Rich Text Editor, select your transcript file, and upload. It will then be embedded in the Rich Text Editor.
The other option is to add closed captions to your video by yourself by uploading a WebVTT file. Read this guide for detail.
There are a few ways to make your table more accessible for students. First, always provide a header row so that the students know what is being presented in the table. Also, keep your table simple. If you need to include additional information, it may be best to create another table with that information. Finally, do not include a screenshot of a table. A screenshot is an image, and the table cannot be navigated with a screen reader.
To insert a table in the Rich Text Editor in CN, select Table from the top menu and create your table. It is a best practice to dedicate the first row for headers.
Accessibility Basics for Slides & Documents
For the most up-to-date information about how to make PowerPoint presentations accessible, visit Microsoft Make your PowerPoint Presentations Accessible
For the most up-to-date information about how to make Word documents accessible, visit Microsoft Make your Word Documents Accessible
Google Slides & Google Docs
For the most up-to-date information about how to make Google Slides and Google Docs accessible, visit Google Make your Document or Presentation More Accessible
It is important to first ensure the document used to create your PDF is accessible. If a PDF has been created by scanning in a text, it will not be accessible.
For the most up-to-date information about how to make a PDF accessible, visit Adobe Create and verify PDF accessibility